Motivation 2 of 3: Do the Work! Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way!

Do the Work (book cover)

Another master piece of motivation from Steven Pressfield, Do the Work (Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way) is a sure way to get you in gear within a few hours.  This one is a must-listen or read in one sitting.  Steven Pressfield reads the Audible audio book version himself.  I love it because it seems like he’s talking directly and only to you!  …I usually listen during my commute to work – when I need “to get it together,” as I often say to myself…

Anyway, I digress…

Do the Work speaks to that equal but opposite force we have that attempts to hold us back when we are attempting to accomplish some amazing task.  Steven Pressfield calls this Resistance!

Pressfield says Resistance…

…is a repelling force. It’s negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.

will reason with you like a lawyer or jam a nine-millimeter in your face like a stickup man.

…is always lying and always full of shit.

in fact operates with the indifference of rain and transits the heavens by the same laws as stars. When we marshal our forces to combat Resistance, we must remember this.

…plays for keeps.

…never sleeps.

…is universal.

The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.

HOWEVER, please know that just as Resistance is the shadow, its opposite—Assistance—is the sun.

Assistance is what the universe provides so that you can beat Resistance.

So, yes, please check out this book!  You will be glad you did!  …and let us know what you think in the comment section below.

Either way, just Do the Work!

Listen to an interview with Steven Pressfield as an easy introduction into it…
PS… Steven Pressfield also wrote The Legend of Baggar Vance, a book that was later turned into a hit movie starring Will Smith, Matt Damon and Charlize Theron!
Other Resources:
  1. How to Get Good at Anything in 20 Hours
  2. 7 Habits of Highly Effective Artists

Motivation 1 of 3: The War of Art (Art = any passion-filled creative project) …and how to win it!

In case you didn’t know – most educators are tasks with keeping their pupils motivated and encouraged, ….regardless of the age of the pupils.

Surprisingly, most educators also have to keep themselves motivated and encouraged – especially if they have their own creative projects and learning goals.

When I’m faced with either task (serving my pupils and/or keeping myself focused with blinders on), I often refer to The War of Art.  In fact, I just started listening to it AGAIN this morning.  The lessons contained in it and many more by the author, Steven Pressfield, have been on my mind – to share with my students AND to get myself back in deep focus…

So, I decided to share here, after all, it just may reach many more who need it!

After All…  Nobody Tells This To Beginners:

From Ira Glass . . .
“What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”


NOTE:  Listening to the audio version by Steven Pressfield himself is my favorite.  It’s like he’s speaking to and sharing directly with me.  I listen over and over! 🙂

  1. On Amazon
  2. On Audible
  3. Online PDF
  4. On (flipbook type format)
  5. On Audiobooks (free for 30 days)
  6. On Barnes & Nobles Nook
  7. On iTunes

The War of Art Book cover


Learning Electronics: How to Take Step One 101 (by Kawe)

A simple circuit with a LED bulb is the common choice for a first experiment with electronics, it is easy to explain: 2 or 3 components are enough, and the result can be verified with the naked eye, without the need for a multimeter or other instruments.

My first circuit, in all the scarlet splendor of its red LED on, was built for a secondary physics course project, back in 2012. It was quite simple, but the experience (which was not limited to the assembly) illustrated to me several known concepts that I had never really practiced.

In fact, just like me, new people arrive in the fantastic world of electronics, every single day; they want to become developers, creators, or have recently fell from parachute on top of an important electronics project but have limited knowledge of hardware from a development standpoint. If this is your case, I dedicate this entry to you. Now, before we go out wanting to make our own Iron Man suit, we need to know what we are doing, and especially how we are doing it.

In the photo above, you can see an exact rendition of my long ago finished physics project. A a set of 4 1.5V batteries (connected with a battery holder, producing a voltage of 6V) whose red (positive) cable is connected (by means of a clamp) to a led, and whose other cable is connected to a 470Ω resistor, this time connected to the other leg of the same led. The circuit is closed, the led is on, I pass high school physics.

However, not every first project needs to be executed like mine; and even though cable clamping and taping procedures will indeed be part of your first effort towards learning electronics, there are much better – and more interesting – ways to take your first step into this field. Handy tools handy: we will start by clamping the following paragraphs to our brains.

We can say that electronics is the branch of science that studies the use of circuits formed by electrical and electronic components, with the main objective of representing, storing, transmitting or processing information beyond the control of processes and servo mechanisms. From this perspective, it can also be said that the internal circuits of computers (which store and process information), telecommunications systems (which transmit information), the various types of sensors and transducers (which represent physical quantities – information –  in the form of Electrical signals) are all within the area of interest for electronics.

It is on the foundation of these concepts that the understanding of the area begins to take shape in your mind. The prospective experiments and projects will serve to test the theories you are bound to master; and once these concepts are fully understood, it will be time to think about your first development environment and electronics starter kit.  So If you are up to date and ready to clean up your old desk and start clamping cables together, we shall jump right into it.  Bear in mind, though, that you will not need a massive shopping cart worth of random electronic components. Somebody else has already thought it all out for you, long ago. It is time we talk Arduino.

The Arduino was created in 2005 by a group of 5 researchers: Massimo Banzi, David Cuartielles, Tom Igoe, Gianluca Martino and David Mellis. The goal was to design a device that was both inexpensive, functional and easy to program, making it accessible to students and amateur designers. In addition, the concept of free hardware has been adopted, which means that anyone can assemble, modify, improve and customize the Arduino, starting from the same basic hardware.

It is, essentially, a board composed of an Atmel microcontroller, input/output circuits, which can be easily connected to a computer and programmed via the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) using a C/C++ based language, Without the need for extra equipment plus a USB cable. Once programmed, the Arduino microcontroller can be used independently, that is, you can put it to control a robot, a bin, a fan, the lights of your house, the temperature of the air conditioner, you can use it as a measuring instrument or any other design that comes to mind.

My first Arduino starter kit was kindly given to me as a Christmas challenge-gift by my computer science professor and mentor Dr. Leshell Hatley. There were a few items in the box: a breadboard with a variety of jumpers to use with it and a small assortment of leds, resistors and other specialized components. The kit came accompanied by a series of tutorials, bringing the instructions on how to use the components of the kit itself, code examples and experiments from the basic (flashing leds) to more advanced items.

From day one, I started to explore the vast range of possibilities offered by my Arduino; and it did not take me long to feel incredibly impressed by it. In fact, despite its success amongst electronic enthusiasts, I did not expect to find entire communities solely focused on Arduino development. From simple to state-of-the-art devices, robots, tools: an Arduino will allow you to take your electronics project as far as your imagination goes. And the best is: even the simplest projects  – like my simple LED circuit, for instance – will feel amazing to assemble.

Above you can see the breadboarding (we will understand this concept later) stage of my latest project, which I will keep secret for now (an entire entry will be dedicated to it). Arduino experts, can you guess what I am about to build? We will find out soon!

That’s it, for now, Iron Man. I hope you have enjoyed this reading as much as I did, truly. We, the members of LAIA invite you to take a proactive step not only towards learning electronics, but also towards learning what interests you the most. It is time: sketch, assemble, deliver.

Have a wonderful week!
Kawe V. Das Merces
Computer Science and Mathematics Student
Coppin State University